News

    South Sudan Says Not at War With Sudan

    An April 14, 2012 photo shows Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) troops at their position in the Unity Oil Field near the front lines at Heglig.
    An April 14, 2012 photo shows Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) troops at their position in the Unity Oil Field near the front lines at Heglig.
    Hannah McNeish

    South Sudan said Sudan has launched four new attacks in the last 24 hours on the as yet undefined border that the sides have been fighting over for weeks. The accusation follows threats from Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to destroy the South Sudanese government.

    South Sudan’s occupation of a contested area of Heglig that Sudan uses to produces half its oil has sparked fears that what started as border clashes could lead to all-out war with Khartoum.

    South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Heglig is within a 1956 border left by former colonial power Britain. He said the south is now fending off attacks in three of its 10 states.

    “The government of the Republic of Sudan is on continuous attack both bombardment and ground forces invasion into the territory of South Sudan, but the Republic of South Sudan has been able in self-defense to actually to repulse these wanton attacks within the borders of South Sudan," said Benjamin. "We would like to say again, up to now, we have not crossed, even an inch, into the borders of the Republic of Sudan.”


    View Larger Map

    Sudan's parliament voted this week to make South Sudan an enemy of the state, and on Wednesday President Omar al-Bashir vowed to to crush the southern government, which he described as an “insect,” and to “liberate” the south's people.

    But despite the increasing war rhetoric and intense fighting on the border, Benjamin insisted that South Sudan was not at war with Sudan.

    “That pronouncement by parliament in Khartoum is a declaration of war. The Republic of South Sudan is not in the state of war, nor is it interested in the war with Sudan, which we believe is a senseless war,” he said.

    However, Benjamin said that southern troops would not pull out of Heglig unless both armies cease hostilities, agree to demarcate the border and pull out troops from the Abyei - another contested area on the border, which was occupied by Sudan Armed Forces, SAF last May.

    South Sudan’s army - the SPLA - occupied Heglig, which the South calls Panthou, after pushing forces back for the second time. The south said the area was being used to launch attacks on South Sudan.

    “The SPLA forces are in Panthou, which is Heglig, to put to an end repeated attacks by Sudan Armed Forces - SAF - into the positions of the SPLA," Benjamin said. "The presence of SAF in Panthou, has been a security threat to SPLA positions in the area.”

    South Sudan also said it is ready to restart negotiations with Sudan, that aimed to address outstanding issues over territory, borders, and the sharing of oil revenues following southern secession last July.

    But while war rhetoric mounts, it remains to be seen what can draw these two former civil war foes back from the brink of a renewed bitter conflict.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora